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We hear it everywhere… Web3 is the future of the internet, a new iteration of the World Wide Web involving cryptocurrency and NFTs. But what does it actually mean? How will blockchain technology impact the end-users, organizations, and the web’s architecture?
But firstly, to better understand this new version of the web, let’s rewind a little bit…
Back in the early 90s, the first version of Web 1.0 was primarily made up of static web pages connected by hyperlinks. Its textual and visual content was mostly produced by developers.
The mid-2000s saw the arrival of Web 2.0, the internet’s present form focused on end-users.
An interactive read-write platform characterized largely by e-commerce and social media where the creation process, once limited, was now accessible to anyone having an internet connection.
The term Web 3.0 was first mentioned in 2014 by Gavin Wood, one of the founders of Ethereum. Emerging as an answer to concerns over Web 2.0, it leverages machine learning, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology.
The latter ensures data protection, control, and transparency.
The semantic web will be powered by technologies that enable the flow of data between users and applications to be controlled by a network of peers rather than a centralized system. Putting decentralization information as the core of Web 3.0, what impact does it have on its stakeholders?
The big perk for individuals is to take control of their data by erasing the need for an intermediator.
With the absence of central servers, there will be no risk of server failure and no data theft, as can, unfortunately, be the case for data stored on the cloud. Furthermore, no external authorization is needed for users to handle their data, increasing privacy and security.
As for businesses, they would be connected directly to the customers without any intermediaries. Investing in blockchain technologies can provide data, insights, and transparency that can lead to more effective marketing campaigns for brands and ultimately a higher satisfaction level among its consumers.
Moreover, by adopting cryptocurrencies, businesses can widen their financial inclusion to those without a bank account and introduce a means of conducting international transactions without a monetary middleman.
Web 3.0 architecture is made of decentralized apps, also called DApps.
Naturally, decentralization impacts the usual components of Web 2.0 architecture: frontend, backend, and database.
Without the need for a centralized database or web server, the blockchain will act as a state machine that everyone on the planet can access and write to. The backend logic will be implemented through smart contracts, and later deployed to the blockchain network.
As for the front end, it will be focused on communication with those contracts created in high-level programming languages such as Solidity or Vyper. Besides, as they connect the technology with the end user’s needs, a good UX design is crucial for DApps.
Although the notion of a decentralized web has been explored for many years, the current web remains centralized.
The shift to Web 3.0 may take a while to play out. However, following the trends surrounding the semantic web is crucial so as not to be outdated and prepare one’s business when the new iteration of the web stops being only the domain of innovators and early adopters.
When and if the change will occur, only time will tell…
The article was written by: Tamara Habensus